Focus On Water
Public Drinking Water in Nebraska

Nebraska’s Drinking Water Section is dedicated to safe drinking water for all of Nebraska’s public water consumers. We work together with water systems, communities, and other state and federal partners to ensure we have reliable and safe drinking water.

Nebraska Drinking Water Sections

What is it what we do?

From department engineers who approve construction projects, to field staff who inspect water systems, and water specialists who monitor water testing, we ensure that public water consumers have drinking water that meets all state and federal standards. This could not be accomplished without the cooperation and dedication of the operators of Nebraska’s public water systems and other partners from the Nebraska Rural Water Association, MAP, the Nebraska Chapter of the American Water Works Association, and the League of Municipalities.

What are the types of public water systems?

Community Water Systems — cities, towns, and villages

Non-Transient Non-Community Water Systems — schools, office buildings, and hospitals, if they have their own well. They serve people on a temporary basis, a non-transient population.

Transient Water Systems — gas stations, rest areas, hotels, and restaurants, if they have their own well. They serve people who are just passing through, a transient population.

Note: Private Wells are not regulated.

What are the sources of Nebraska’s drinking water?

The majority of public water systems in Nebraska get their water from groundwater, underground aquifers. Less than 10 percent utilize surface water sources like lakes and rivers. Of note however, is that the majority of our population, Omaha and Lincoln, drink both surface and groundwater. Water coming from a surface water source is always filtered and treated before it is deemed safe to drink. Water originating from a groundwater source may be treated, depending upon the quality of the groundwater.

Click on the “Program Links” below to learn more about public drinking water and the Nebraska Drinking Water Sections. The “Useful Links” includes a monthly newsletter for water operators, The Water Spout and Drinking Water Watch, which includes drinking water monitoring information.

Useful links and resources

Current happenings

Grant funds for testing lead in drinking water

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), in conjunction with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), has been awarded funds to test drinking water for lead in schools and childcare facilities in Nebraska.

These funds are provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act grant and will be used to create a voluntary lead sampling and analysis effort in childcare facilities, preschools and public elementary schools.

The grant funds will be used to pay for the sample kits and laboratory analysis of the drinking water. NDEE and DHHS are working with local health departments, who will receive a portion of the grant funds for their work overseeing and coordinating the program in their areas.

For more information about this grant program, visit *

* This webpage contains links to non-NDEE websites, these links will open in a new tab or window